It’s the Christmas Season. It’s a time when many appreciate the sacrificial offering of Jesus the Christ. The seasonal festivities bring with it an infectious hope which births a renewed optimism in humanity. However, we also see waning acts of love as despair obscures visions of the future. Individualism, lack of empathy and capitalism widens the socio-economic divide among us; they lead us to question the borders of our humanity.
During previous holidays I would feel like finding a dark hole in the earth and wait for all festivities to pass… this year is no different. My life experiences in 2017 carried me on journeys of pain, depression, emotional and physical trauma, economic bareness and feelings of shame and unworthiness.
Believing in Christ does not shield us from experiencing life challenges nor does it spare us from having emotional breakdowns. Acknowledging and speaking about those experiences is critical for our progress.
But even the very hair of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
~ Luke 12:7
This verse reminds us that we are valuable and despite our challenges God will make a way and bring victory.
Throughout this season you may not be in an emotionally healthy place, yet you are pushing forward. You may not have accomplished your goals, yet your faith encourages you to hope for a better tomorrow. And though the future looks quite dim you persevere against all odds. In 2017 I learnt some valuable lessons. I learnt to be appreciative, mindful and present in each moment and establish new relationships with persons who do not judge me but stand in the gap with me.
I am daily learning to embrace moments of grace. And I see setbacks not as failure but as moments in time which allows me to fail forward into success. I am developing a new relationship with my heavenly Father. Speaking life, family healing, emotional and financial prosperity, academic success and love into my life.
In a few days we will walk into 2018. What do you see? For me, I see a year of endless possibilities one where victories will cancel challenges as I apply my faith and works. I see a year where miracles will change the trajectory of my life and I see it as a year of hard work and answered prayers.
During the next few days take some time to reflect, develop a realistic plan, set goals that are achievable and do not have a fantasied view of Christianity. As we walk through this maze called life we will experience challenges how we meet those challenges will make the difference. Being children of God does not safeguard us from experiencing moments of lack or being emotionally down, nor does it avoid our human mistakes.
In the coming months remember Elijah and the woman of Zarephath, for Christ honours such sacrifices as it’s a test of our faith and it builds kingdom presence in the earth. Dry bones will live, and restoration will be effective in our lives. Do not be too hard on yourself, remember to enjoy living, and begin the process of appreciating yourself and your presence.
Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.